Presidential elections now between Noynoy and me – Erap
By Rainier Allan Ronda
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Former President Joseph Estrada sees the May 10 presidential elections as fast shaping into a one-on-one fight between himself and Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno Aquino III.
Speaking to reporters at the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino headquarters in Mandaluyong, Estrada said the latest Pulse Asia survey shows that he has overtaken Nacionalista Party presidential candidate Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. as Aquino’s main rival.
“While the latest Pulse Asia survey shows me dead-even with Senator Villar at 20 percent and Sen. Noynoy Aquino leading the pack with 39 percent, three other polls show me at solo second to Senator Aquino and ahead of Senator Villar,” he said.
Estrada said results of three other surveys commissioned by allied groups also reflected a “steady, upward trajectory” in voters’ preference and acceptability of him.
On the other hand, Villar was shown at a “nosedive,” he added.
The 73-year-old Estrada said he could cause a major upset and win next week’s presidential election.
“Aquino’s numbers have reached a plateau,” he said.
Estrada said Aquino must not be “so presumptuous” as to claim a premature victory and threaten mass action if he does not win the elections.
“That is very crazy,” he said.
“He might want to take a lesson from his mother to speak with more humility.
“After all, the race is not yet over. May the best man win.”
Present at the briefing were Estrada’s vice-presidential running mate, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, PMP campaign manager Ernesto Maceda, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Estrada identified the three surveys as the Magdalo survey held last April 19 to 24, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) survey from April 18 to 22, and an internal survey prepared for Enrile, who is running for re-election under the PMP, held last April 23 to 25.
The Magdalo survey results reportedly showed Aquino leading the presidential race with 39.6 percent, Estrada at solo second place with 24.8 percent, Villar at third with 23.6 percent, and Gilbert Teodoro, Jr., with seven percent.
The survey had 2,266 respondents with a plus or minus 2 percent margin of error, according to the PMP.
The DILG survey showed Aquino as front-runner with 41 percent, Estrada second with 25 percent, Villar at third with 23 percent, and Teodoro fourth with nine percent.
The poll had 6,000 respondents with a plus or minus 2 percent margin of error.
Enrile’s internal survey conducted by his JAKA distribution company showed Aquino again leading the race with 35 percent, Estrada second with 25 percent, Villar at third with 17 percent, and Teodoro again at fourth place with eight percent.
The poll used a base of 2,400 respondents with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent margin of error.
Estrada said he believes preference surveys are an important part of the campaign in that they serve to educate the voter.
“But more than the unsubstantiated charge that they play a role in conditioning the minds of the people, they do serve the various contenders in any exercise as vital inputs in internal political and campaign guidance and decision making,” he said.
Enrile said the three surveys were more reflective of what they saw in their campaign sorties nationwide, compared to the figures in the Social Weather Stations survey of the past weeks.
“I was surprised,” he said.
“The (SWS) figures do not seem to jibe with what we have seen in the field.”
Enrile said the SWS surveys showing Estrada at third place were “surprising.”
Their campaign sorties are always jam-packed, he added.
Browsing at results of the Pulse Asia and three other surveys, Enrile said the downtrend in the popularity and voters’ preference for Villar seemed irreversible at this stage of the campaign, with only a week to go before election day.
Meantime, Malacañang thanked Estrada yesterday for “supporting” Teodoro.
Speaking to reporters, deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar said it would also be good if the two candidates talk to clarify what Estrada meant about working with Teodoro. – With Paolo Romero